Our Story

Bala's Chalet is one of the oldest colonial buildings built during the pre-war era and preserved in its original structure to enhance its natural beauty. Opened as a boarding school 1934 for European expatriate children as a branch of the more famous Tanglin school in Singapore, it began with 150 pupils and 22 qualified teachers all recruited from England.The story of the Tanglin School through Japanese Occupation and Emergency inspires any educator.

Its owner and headmistress, Miss Griffith Jones O.B.E. had passed on her love for nature by preserving the school's surroundings in its natural habitat complete with tigers and leopards roaming around............ but at a safe distance.

When Miss Griffith retired in 1958 she still stayed on, in the highlands she had grown to love and was finally buried at the foothills. A former pupil always recalls "tea being served  in the best British tradition", a tradition carried on over the years.

Though now it is no more a school it still carries on this tradition in a different way. It's present owners, K. Balakrishnan, a local boy and Peter W. Blumbach, a German businessman residing in Singapore bought over the property which was left empty after the school closed down and turned it into a guesthouse which became a fine place to stay in years to come.

In spite of the numerous refurbishment, the original Tudor concept is still being preserved so much so that old girls of the school have returned to pleasantly find they could recognize the music room, the dining room etc.Even the gardener, Mr. Kuppanan has stayed on for the past 47 years tending to his beloved flowers.

Today, Bala's chalet has 25 cottage style rooms offering good value for money to travelers. Word has got around that the super curries turned out by their chefs are simply mouthwatering, so much so that the Sultan of the State ordered his dinner there while on a visit to the highlands.

Their tea and scones found its way into the in-flight Magazine of the Malaysia Airlines as being the best in the highlands. With so much history, tradition, good food and comfort, one still wonders why people come up to the highlands to stay in the town............


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